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Question about Healing.... This has been a question of mine for… 
27th-Dec-2005 08:18 am

Question about Healing....

This has been a question of mine for sometime, after bringing it up with the various groups that I have games with over the years, I would like somebody elses ideas.

When a character is wounded/damaged (regardless of what caused it) it has been the cleric's job to heal and patch that character up. Now heres my question.

If a character is wounded in such a way as to have parts shattered or knocked out, when a cleric does their healing (CLW, CMW etc..) what happens to those parts?

Let me elaborate:

I have had PC's in past games get into bar fights. Sometimes a PC will get a tooth knocked out. I understand that the healing spells will fix tissue damage and mend bones, but would the tooth regrow or would that PC have a gapped smile? (Question from a game several years past)

Other scenario:

PC gets clobbered by an ogres greatclub, doing more than 75% of hitpoint damage. PC survives fort. check due to amount of damage, but it was decided that since the PC got hit on the leg, that the leg was shattered, bones broken, split etc. Essentially the leg was useless. In cases like this, where the femur is shattered and bone shards are scattered throughout the muscle, what exactly would a cure spell do?

I know that it would mend the bones and fix damage. Would it cause the bone to grow new peices (to replaces the shards that are missing?) If that is the case, what about the bone shards left in the thigh muscle?

I know that this is very odd to ask, but the games that I run/play in can be very brutal at times (very much like the Warhammer FRPG). There is no ongoing arguement with players/GMs over this nor a game waiting on answers, just a curious thought I had to see what other people thought of it.

 

 

Comments 
27th-Dec-2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
What I normally do with the cure spells is, the characters wound starts to close and depending on how bad it was it may leave a scar. As far as regrowing parts that would require the regeneration spell.
27th-Dec-2005 02:45 pm (UTC)
Oh and as far as the broken bone as long as the bone shards were still in the body I normally say they get mended back together. I also tell them it will be a few days till it is fully fixed. So they remain sore for a wile.
28th-Dec-2005 03:32 am (UTC)
True, Thats what I do now..say the part is very sore and would take several days for the soreness to go away..cuts down on the PC being bedridden.
27th-Dec-2005 02:52 pm (UTC) - Brutality!!! Yeah!
As I can remember the DMG advises to avoid such broken-to-mess legs and disembodied legs and heads and.. and..(somebody stop me =))
And about bone shards in the muscle... man, it's magic! It can do everything. One one of my players got all of his right hand fingers broken at once (hehe just a nice spell on the sword's handle =)) So after healing spell I considered the state of hand was "like new"

27th-Dec-2005 03:00 pm (UTC)
If you want that kind of detail in the damage system, I reccomend you don't use D&D, or at least rewrite the damage / healing system from the ground up. D&D is designed so that any non-fatal wound is essentialy trivial, and will heal completely, given no treatment, but enough bedrest.

This simply doesn't lend itself to answering the questions you're asking.
(Deleted comment)
28th-Dec-2005 03:34 am (UTC)
Agreed about the eyepatches and scars...some players want them on their PC's while I have had others that avoid them like the plague (actualyl going around buying lotions and such for their faces...heh)

True I know that the D/D system is not equipped for such damage to body parts...just wished that it wasnt so vague on the healing aspects.
27th-Dec-2005 03:06 pm (UTC)
We mostly ignore the nuances of such things, but we've started dealing with scars and such more recently. For some stuff we leave it as "even though you are 'healed', you're still stiff and sore." Certain types of damage may leave scars. My 2nd level character got reduced to 1 HP from an illithid's tentacle attacks so now he has large, round scars from where they entered his face.

For the mechanics part of things, we usually create house rules for it. Cure spells won't remove scars, but there is a 2nd level spell that specializes in scar removal. (Got it from Bastion Press' Torn Asunder.) To make it more fun, the spell isn't known by all healers/clerics so it is harder to find.

I also like the concept of Cure spells having different effects on different types of injuries (also from Torn Asunder). Cure Light won't heal broken bones. Cure Moderate will, but won't heal all HP damage if it also heals broken bones. Stuff like that.

In the end, don't get too hung up on it. If you want to add some flavor to the campaign, that's cool. You don't want to get bogged down with figuring out every hit from every weapon, claw, tooth, etc.
28th-Dec-2005 03:36 am (UTC)
Thank you for your reply..that was an idea that I was toying with, but I couldnt quite put my finger on how to articulate it. I have now found my literary voice.

Im not really hung up on it, I would rather my games play like a story than a bunch of dice being rolled. I feel that it adds touches of realism to the players when they go fight a creature that is bigger and stronger than them and they get whacked and flung across the room.
28th-Dec-2005 10:31 am (UTC)
I've thought about this situation too if I ever decide to DM a game myself. As it currently stands with the games I've played, the players only worry about dying/hitting neg hp. No one ever worries about losing their sight, a leg, etc even though I think that would make the fighting aspect more interesting.

Will it be more complicated? Yes, probably though after a while of using some sort of system (whatever you pick) that it really wouldn't be that big of a deal. Learning something new and trying to adjust to it would obviously take some getting use to. From what I can tell, it's not like you are figuring out a whole lot of numbers during the gameplay. The only decisions during gameplay would be 'how serious is the damage to the player' and 'what will it take to fix it all'. All the system set up would be done on the down time.
27th-Dec-2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
I thikn there is a lot of potential for you to use a House Rule here (though dcreating it would be a bit tricky). It would be great to write it own in advance and maybe make a chart of what the progressive levels of healing can do.

For instance, perhaps Cure Light will fix only cuts and tissue damage (greater wounds would stop doing damage but still impose a penalty to movement or attacks). Maybe Cure moderate would allow the tooth to be placed back in the PCs head and then 'healed', but on a greater scale could only mend fractured bones. Cure Serious could handle fragmented bones or organ damage and for damage to the nervous system or a completely broken body (i.e. survived a fall from 200+ feet) only a Heal would do.

It would really be up to you how detailed you wanted to go with the Cure system but make sure you make provisions for conventional surgery/mundane healing (i.e a set bone take X amount of time to heal if a successful heal 15 check is made, ect).
27th-Dec-2005 03:16 pm (UTC)
Looks like edobrzel beat me to this reply. The supplement looks very interesting that was linked...I'll have to check if they have it in pdf format =)
27th-Dec-2005 06:31 pm (UTC)
I like your icon, why Ingwaz? That rune happens to be kinda sacred to me, mind if I nab the icon?
28th-Dec-2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
There are many defination of the Rune:Ing, but I chose the one on this page (it seemed to be the main indealogy of the rune [fertility]) - http://www.ealdriht.org/thirdaett.html My wife and I had been trying for a child for over a couple of years and we currently are in our 6th month of pregenancy.

And you are more than welcome to the icon.

3rd-Jan-2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
Well congratulations! I'm glad to hear that. The first time I heard about Frey I was very drawn to him (as well as Freyja). It wasn't until later I discovered my name bore such a close resemblance to his--my name is Inge. ^_^

Good luck with the pregnancy!
28th-Dec-2005 03:38 am (UTC)
Im going to combine the previous post (edobrzel's) with yours...I really like the ideas that both of you have come up with and use that in my games...will make my players much more hesitant to jump into melee with creatures bigger and badder than they are.
27th-Dec-2005 03:15 pm (UTC)
As others have said, the abstraction that is the D&D combat system ignores stuff like broken bones. They just don't exist in the system. So curing them becomes kind of a mute point. So if you want to deal with this, you have to change the combat system around, or just house rule this stuff. I mean, you're house-ruling that a PC gets a tooth knocked out, or has a leg broken, so how hard is it to decide what heals what?

An easy wound system: for any specific injuries like this, you assign them a wound with a value equal to the amount of damage that caused it (so if you take 30 points of damage to break your leg, you have a 30-point wound). Then have it require a single healing spell which can do that much healing be used (so I guess a cure critical for this case) to fix the injury. You can decide if this needs to be done in a single spell (or if lots of cure lights will do it), if it applies to fixing the wound AND curing the HP loss at the same time, or what.
27th-Dec-2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
<pedantry>

It's a moot point.

</pedantry>
27th-Dec-2005 03:22 pm (UTC)
Sorry. I just woke up ;p
27th-Dec-2005 04:48 pm (UTC)
I think the way our DM did it was if our cleric was trying to heal something really major, like a shattered leg or whatever, he'd have to succeed on a pretty massive heal check to get it to work right.
27th-Dec-2005 05:33 pm (UTC)
I've played in a variant campaign where the DM used critical hit charts, with specific damage. In order to heal the specific damage (other than waiting for it to heal normally), you needed a Cure Critical Wounds spell, which, he figured, was why it was called that.

This was not a fun campaign for the first six levels (1st-2nd edition).
28th-Dec-2005 03:39 am (UTC)
No i imagine not, but I bet it gave your characters a healthy respect for creatures that you came in contact with.
27th-Dec-2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
By the rules of D&D 3.5, the only magical means useable to heal a broken bone, missing limb, or other severe injury come in the form of the spells:

Regenerate, Resurrection, True Resurrection, Wish, and Miracle.

Cure spells only restore Hit Point loss in the D&D 3.5 mechanics - Hit Points being a mere abstraction of damage taken in combat. So, by the book, nothing happens to the lost or mangled parts of a character's body when someone casts a cure spell on that character.

Personally, I would suggest that if you are going to go the route of allowing such injuries to be inflicted that you come up with some sort of table mapping cure spells to different damage types. For example, "a Cure Critical will heal x hit points and 1d4 serious wounds, 2d6 moderate wounds, and 3d8 minor wounds" where a serious wound would be "broken arm, broken leg, etc.", a moderate wound would be "concussion, broken finger, broken toe, dislocated shoulder, etc.", and a light would be "twisted ankle, pulled muscle, indigestion, etc.".

Obviously, this is a lot of overhead and, if used, you should consider that your game may slow down significantly as characters spend days, weeks, or months healing.
28th-Dec-2005 03:54 am (UTC)
I thought about the days weeks months idea and have been bouncing it around for quite a while. In order to eliminate such a thing, after the cure spells are cast (it might take several spells to achieve the desired result, which could take a couple of days), the player or somebody else around the player makes a Heal check on the leg, with a decreasing DC as the player gains HP's back.

The idea that they can get knocked around and suffer damage and have to recouperate I do like. However, I think thats where the DM speeds things up abit with the heal checks and such...it lessens the bed time that the players would have to face if they didnt get healed.
27th-Dec-2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
I think of "hit points" more of a combination of fatigue and luck. Say a Fighter has 100 hp. When a baddie hits him, say for 15 damage, I explain it as if he just got smacked in the side real hard. Of course, his plate armor keeps him from any serious harm, but now his side is bruised and maybe cut a little bit, and it makes him less able to defend himself. The only blow that actually conncets and does some serious damage is the one that takes him to or below 0 hp. Think of it as if his luck finally ran out, or he is simply too exhausted from fighting to block the blow.

As for healing, think of it as the oposite. A healing spell gives the target a second wind; it infuses him with energy, eases the pain of the various bruises across his body, heals up and cuts or scratches he may have suffered, hell even speed up his bones mending. Healing spells, in my opinion, is like having the body do it's own natural healing, super sped up.

So if someones limb is completly severed, im inclined to say that a healing spell isn't going to fix that. The body can't regrow an arm.
28th-Dec-2005 10:20 am (UTC)
Your fatigue/luck description of hit points reminds me of a video game life bar where the bar represents armor. Once all the armor has been shot to hell, that next hit or two (like being at zero hp or below) would kill ya. Just a statement.
27th-Dec-2005 10:06 pm (UTC)
Well, all of what these people have said is good, but I'd rule that having the severed part makes it much easier to reattach.

So if you run those rules, might want to remember that.
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